The National Board of Review Gala honoring the 2016 Award Winners hosted by Willie Geist was held at Cipriani 42nd Street.
The Knockturnal was on the red carpet for the star-studded affair. Awards favorite Manchester by The Sea was given the Best Original Screenplay (Kenneth Lonergan), Best Film, Best Actor (Casey Affleck) and Breakthrough Performance (Lucas Hedges).
We first talked at the New York Film Festival, and a lot has happened for the film since then. Can you just reflect on being honored tonight and being here?
Kimberly Steward: Oh, I am really, really grateful. I mean, it’s an organization that’s been around since the early 1900s, so to be considered a part of even the group, it’s amazing.
This film has resonated with so many people. Can you reflect on that?
Kimberly Steward: I think the people are looking for something that’s real. You know, we have so many different types of film and I think this one has a lot of heart to it, and a lot of healing to it.
Can you speak about collaborating with Michelle Williams on this project? She gave such a stunning performance.
Kenneth Lonergan: She’s a great actress, and she’s a great collaborator. We just talked about the character, and the development of the character between the past and the present and the transformation. You know, she just shows up ready to go, and then is very open to suggestions if I have any, which is infrequent. She’s great.
Speak about your previous collaborations with Casey.
Kenneth Lonergan: He did my play This is our Youth in London in 2002, and he did a one-act play for me in 2008 or so, and he did a few readings of things, so we try to work together.
This is your first movie together though. How was that?
Kenneth Lonergan: Yes. Wonderful. I love him. I loved him before, I love him much more now.
Were you amused by his speech last night?
Kenneth Lonergan: Very much so. He’s really funny. That’s probably why it’s great to have around, because he’s really funny. I mean, he’s really smart, he’s really funny, self-deprecating, he’s got a great sense of humor, he’s got great values and I love him.
Can you speak a little bit about your writing process?
Kenneth Lonergan: It totally depends on where I’m at. I mean, if it’s going well, I write a lot. If it’s going poorly, I don’t write much and I’m very frustrated and I just try to fish around until it starts going well again.
And my last question, what are you working on now? Will it be the theater?
Kenneth Lonergan: I’m working on a couple of things, in both the theater and film, and I’m not sure which one’s going to take precedence yet.
What has been the highlight of Awards Season for you?
Lucas Hedges: I think the highlight is that, fortunately, I’ve been able to … at the Critics’ Choice I got to go up and speak, and tonight I’m going to get to speak, so it’s an opportunity to put words to why I’m grateful for this experience and why it has had such a positive effect on my life. Just another opportunity for me to get clarity on my life right now. So that’s a beautiful thing, yeah.
What are you learning about yourself as an actor? Have you watched yourself?
Lucas Hedges: I do, but it’s very hard to watch myself. Well, I’m doing a play right now and just the most important thing is to constantly … when I start despairing and have doubt, just to reengage with the process and with my character’s backstory or with what action I’m sending on this moment. It’s ultimately not about how well I’m doing, it’s just about what I’m doing. It’s always satisfying to be doing as an actor, but … It makes me miserable to be obsessing about whether or not I’m good or bad. So, that’s probably the biggest thing on my mind.
Photo Credit: StarPix